to Mr. Bayard
Peking , December 2, 1886. (Received January 21, 1887.)
Sir: I have the honor to report that American merchants doing business at the ports of Takow and Anping, in Formosa, have presented me the following question through the consul at Amoy.[Page 173]
It seems that the local authorities in Formosa levied an enormous lekin tax on native produce. The people refused to pay the tax and threatened to discontinue planting. The authorities then concluded to collect this tax from the foreign merchants after the produce (in this case sugar) had reached the go-down of the merchants. The foreign merchants refused to pay this tax on the ground that it was really an export tax and contrary to the treaties.
I have presented this question to the Tsung-li yamên fully, as you will see by a copy of my communication which is herewith inclosed.
I will communicate the answer when the same is received.
I have, etc.,